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Losing Sight?

Guest bernadette

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Guest bernadette

Hi everyone,


My heart dog, Vinnie, will be 13 this August. He has been doing well, despite his LS- he is happy, keeps his weight. The vet suspects he may be in the beginning stages of LP, but he is not to the point where I would consider surgery, especially given his age.


Vinnie used to LOVE going upstairs to sleep. It is the only carpeted area in the house and he used to love to stretch out and would stay there during the day. Many months ago (a year..?), he stopped climbing the stairs. I figured it was probably uncomfortable for him and left it at that.


In our home, we have two steps leading from the dining room to the living room. I happened to be off of work the last couple of months and noticed that he began to have trouble with these two small steps. At first, he would hesitate. Then, he began to stumble down them, almost seeming to tangle his long legs. Now, we cannot coax him down, so he stays in between the kitchen and dining room- the last two rooms without using the steps to the living room or the staircase to the bedrooms.


My husband will be building a ramp for him very soon to see if this helps.


Also to note, the last time we came home from the vet (less than a month ago), when he came out of the car, he hit his poor nose on the ground and was bleeding.. it was like he misjudged- maybe his depth perception?


I am heartbroken for my sweet boy, confined now to two rooms in the house. I don’t know if this is a sight issue with the two small steps or perhaps fear as he now associates them with falling. Has anyone dealt with progressive sight loss in their grey? Tips?


Many thanks…

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To test the sight hypothesis--and to help with the two steps--you might want to put bright-colored or contrasty duct tape along the edge of the two steps and see if that helps him. Remembering that dogs don't see colors the way we do, look for polka-dotted or zebra-striped tape if your floor/carpet is plain, or very light-colored tape if your floor/carpet is dark.


Saw bits of a PBS episode last night on people going blind. It seems that part of the retina (in people) can have a problem, so that a whole segment of their eyesight in one eye or the other can "go out." They simulated what one man saw from left eye, then right eye: his brain was assembling the two images when he looked with both eyes, so that one eye compensated for losses on the other eye, but he still had blind spots. If he stood and looked straight ahead, he was missing some peripheral vision. It may be that Vinnie is having trouble when he looks down, or is having depth perception issues. (I went to pick up a drug-fogged dog after a dental, and she wouldn't cross a threshold. The flooring changed from one room to the other, and her depth perception wasn't telling her whether she needed to step up or down.)

Try Googling "veterinary ophthalmologist" and tack on your zip code: Google should tell you where the nearest one is located.

Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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your own vet should be able to check for cataracts. my welsh terrier who lived to 15 had minimal vision, LP and stenosis, and was just about deaf but managed very well until dementia took it's toll. he had enough vision to go in and out, follow other dogs and even keep up with his soccer ball. he even still jumped into the back seat of our 2 door civic with it's dark gray & black interior. i didn't baby him, he just did things like an old dog would.


i didn't try to limit his space until the dementia kicked in and he fought it like a bucking bronco. older large dogs normally show much more difficulty doing stairs. i boarded a 13 year old greyhound(and presently have a 15 year old mutt boarding here) who manage to do our concrete steps in and out of the back yard. their owners were worried about the steps. after a week here their rears are usually stronger from the exercise.

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Guest bernadette

KF, What an interesting study! The vet has, in the past, said something about cataracts, but at the time it was nothing concerning to her. After I remembered this Friday, I began to look into an ophthalmology specialist.

Clepto, that's great, the success you've had. Unfortunately we don't have to block anything off as Vinnie limiting himself, or limited by whatever may be going on.


I appreciate your thoughts and will update as I can, thank you!

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